Chronically conflicted couples become easily overwhelmed, agitated and tense while communicating. Therapists often encourage such couples to practice soothing skills and techniques to help them defuse arousal and emotion, enabling them to communicate and problem solve more efficiently. Soothing skills practice help couples to better tolerate stressful provoking situations (lessening the chance that they will become overwhelmed in the first place), and to recover faster after they have become overwhelmed.
There is no perfect definition of what constitutes a soothing activity. Almost any alternative to outright fighting will generally qualify as a soothing activity. However, different people have different ideas about what works best for them when they need to calm down. Specifically, some people find it easier to relax when they are alone, while others can't calm down easily unless they are around supportive people. A good therapist will recommend soothing activities matched to each partner's preferences.